The Vz 61 Skorpion – For Spies, Infiltrators, and Revolutionaries

Thanks to Goldeneye on Nintendo 64, everyone in my generation knows what the .vZ 61 Skorpion is, although it’s better known as the Klobb. The Skorpion certainly carries with it a unique appearance, and it’s one of the few machine pistols that were ever successful. It’s commonly known the Skorpion was used by the crews of armored vehicles, paratroopers, and police forces. I also theorize that the Skorpion was intended to be used by numerous communist forces, including spies, infiltrators, and communist revolutionaries. 

The Root of the Skorpion Theory 

CZ USA is one of my sources. They have an eight-page short magazine or pamphlet on the history of the VZ 61. I’ve read it a few times due to my interest in Czech weapons, and if I had to guess, it was a translation from Czech. It certainly seems translated, but it’s still easy enough to read and understand. 

This eight-page pamphlet details the weapon’s creation from the very beginning up into the modern Scoprion we have now. They quote normal military use and constantly say, “special security activities,” and the quotations are CZ’s. They never define what those activities are, but they are mentioned several times. 

It’s worth noting that it wasn’t the Army or a specific police force that asked for the weapon. The Ministry of Interior originally requested the weapon. One of the more interesting features of the weapon was the fact it used .32 ACP. That’s an oddball cartridge for an SMG design, but admittedly the Czech military and police forces already had several .32 ACP handguns in service. 

It’s mentioned the .32 ACP has a ‘wide range of qualities ideal for special security activities.’ We know that the .32 ACP is very easy to suppress and would create a weapon that was very easy to control in full auto fire from the very small weapon. 

It’s also mentioned that the “7.65 cartridge is routinely produced in both socialist and capitalist countries and can be bought in any shop carrying sports and hunting guns” That alludes to me that the gun would be used by infiltrators or communist sympathizers in enemy countries. 

The Gun In Action 

One of the many engineers working on the project reportedly impressed his superiors with the small size and concealability of the weapon. He wore it to meet his superiors under a coat in a custom shoulder holster. The weapon’s ability to remain concealed so easily made quite an impression on the engineer’s superiors. 

The Skorpion lends itself well to portable firepower. It’s not much bigger than a handgun and offers selective fire capability. It’s light but packs a stock for accurate shooting and enhanced controls. The weapon is reportedly fairly easy to use in full auto without the stock, at least compared to other machine pistols. 

The Skorpion also featured numerous features designed to make it appropriate for discretionary use. Notably, the two little cocking lugs were designed to be small and rounded to avoid catching as the weapon fired. This consideration was made so the gun could be fired when tucked close to the body, especially if fired from under a coat. They also wanted the gun to be capable of being fired from inside luggage. 

Finally, the initial order wasn’t for police forces, paratroopers, or armor troops. It was by the intelligence service. 

More Than a Theory 

I don’t have definite proof, but there were a few interesting incidents during the so-called Cold War. First, the Italian Red Brigades and the IRA utilized the weapon. While the IRA gets romanticized, it’s worth noting several portions of the IRA were socialist. They had ties to the Soviet Union. The Red Brigades killed the police escort of an Italian politician using the Skorpion pistol.

While it was a bit later, and likely a local copy, the North Koreans used the weapon. A team of infiltrators caught by South Korean forces was carrying multiple Skorpions sans stocks. Maybe The Czechs never intended the weapon to be used by spies, infiltrators, or revolutionaries, but it most certainly was. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.